Vodafone Romania connects oil and gas equipment with NB-IoT

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Vodafone has conducted Romania's first national trial of NB-IoT, working with oil and gas provider OMV Petrom to connect wells without access to GSM coverage or fixed line internet.

The tests were carried out in labs and the field. The two companies sent information to OMV Petrom's centralised data centre through Vodafone's commercial NB-IoT network.

OMV Petrim is the largest oil and gas group across south-east Europe and generates around 64 million barrels of oil per year.

Peter Zeilinger, OMV Petrom Board Member, said the company started to automate and digitalise its oil fields in 2009.

He said: "We managed to implement automation technologies at 4,200 wells, out of a total of approximately 8,100 active wells, however for wells located in isolated areas, with no GSM coverage, data communication is a challenge."

According to Zeilinger, by 2020 over 70 percent of the company's wells will be automated and able to be monitored remotely.

Valeriu Nistor, Director Enterprise Business Unit, Vodafone Romania, said: “This is an absolute premiere for Romania, both for the telecommunications market and for other industries relevant for the national economy, such as oil and gas, which will find tremendous benefits in using this technology. More efficient costs, permanent and real-time monitoring and control of the activity in full security, lower impact on environment are only several of these benefits for businesses.

"With the help of NB-IoT, we will be able to connect millions of devices with very small requirements regarding costs and power consumption."

In September, Vodafone debuted NB-IoT in Ireland and has said it plans to roll out networks in Germany and the Netherlands before the end of the month.